In November 2009, I started the 26-Minute Memoir Project and sent out an open invitation for 26-Minute Memoirs to be posted on my blog. The idea for the project came from a dream.  When I woke up, I wrote– “instructed” by the dream–for 26 minutes. And, the result was a raw and compelling piece of writing that had my voice in it, more so than pieces I’d edited and sculpted.  I figured I was onto something, so I gave my students the 26 minute assignment.  The pieces were amazing.

You can read examples of 26-Minute Memoirs others have written by visiting the category 26 Minutes. I invite you too to write and 26-Minute Memoir and send it to me.   Here’s what you need to do:

1. Get yourself set up to write.

2. Set a timer for 26 minutes.

3. Start writing with the idea in mind that you are creating a self-portrait.

4. Stop writing when the timer goes off.

5. Don’t edit (and neither will I).  Just send it to me at

It’s an act of faith, but the results are remarkable. Try it. You’ll see.

19 Responses